Kirklees Business News, 4th May 2010

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PATRICIA SADIO Ready for combat

MARK EDWARDS Vir tual world

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Stor y - Page 4

An EXAMINER publication

KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS The business NEWSpaper for Kirklees

Small firms seek ‘level playing field’

SMALL firms in Yorkshire should be given a chance to play a big part in delivering the economic recovery, says a regional business leader. Marie-Barbara Noack, policy unit chairman for the Federation of Small Businesses in Yorkshire, said government and local authorities had to create “a level playing field” if smaller firms were to flourish and create more jobs.. Ms Noack, a qualified nurse who also runs two businesses, said firms in the region were concerned about possible increased costs – including higher National Insurance Contributions and business rates – following the general election. But she said they were also being hamstrung by issues such as complex procedures for tendering for government and local authority contracts, late payment by organisations including government departments and the impact of crime in their communities. Speaking in Huddersfield, Ms Noack said small companies were at a disadvantage compared with large firms when tendering because they

often lacked the resources to devote to going through the procurement process and had no track record of working for public sector bodies. Some small companies were competing for contracts by joining forces to submit joint tenders for work which might otherwise go to larger firms. And she said: “In the context of building sustainable communities, local authorities should be using local businesses – so that the benefits stay local.” Ms Noack said small firms often had problems with issues such as crime and vandalism and roadworks affecting trade. Referring to the general election, she added: “Any cuts in spending will hit small businesses harder than large ones. “They don’t have the resources to absorb costs in the same way and they have to pay closer attention to their balance sheets.” Ms Noack said government support was crucial at a time when the number of start-up businesses was increasing – often launched by people made redundant during the recession.

The FSB’s own election “manifesto” calls for measures to encourage self-employment and innovation in small businesses. It also urges policies to generate opportunities for youth employment and calls for a halt to further workplace regulation. It wants to see greater competition in the banking sector and tough action to tackle late payments. And it promotes the case for measures to benefit local communities – by supporting local post offices, reversing the trend of pub closures and curbing car parking charges. FSB policy chairman John Walker said: “A sustained recovery will require more finance than the banks are currently able or willing to give. “It will require a sympathetic tax regime, a stable and predictable business environment and targeted measures to bring on innovation and entrepreneurship.” He added: “ Small businesses can deliver a strong economic recovery if they are given the chance to grow and flourish.”

But PwC’s latest regional trends survey said Yorkshire firms remained cautious about the fragile nature of the recover. It highlighted uncertainty about the outcome of the general election, improving business confidence and cautious optimism returning – but

concern about a reliance on public spending as a driver for growth. The report labelled business confidence in Yorkshire as “average” this quarter in line with most other UK regions – adding support for the view that the recession has bottomed out. Paul Nixon, senior partner for PwC

Five-star transport HAULAGE company Bedfords Transport has been handed a five-star rating. The Batley-based firm has joined the ECO Stars – standing for Efficient and Cleaner Operations Fleet Recognition Scheme – in partnership with its client, Polestar. The scheme supports operators of trucks, buses and coaches across Yorkshire.

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■ RESOURCES: Maria-Barbara Noack, FSB policy unit chairman for Yorkshire, says small firms are at a disadvantage when it comes to competing with big businesses

Tyke companies cautious about UK recovery YORKSHIRE firms remain cautious about long-term prospects for the UK economy, a report has revealed. Research by accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers said that the prevailing view was that the economy was beginning to show signs of growth.


in West Yorkshire, said: “While there are early signs of coming out for the recession, this is tempered by the prospect of public sector cuts. These are seen as very likely, but there are fears over the potential to hinder the recovery before it becomes self-sustaining.”

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A FIRM making and installing aluminium doors and windows has celebrated 20 years in business. Golcar-based Hepworth Framework treated staff to cake and champagne at the firm’s Leymoor Road premises.

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Management skills ‘key to recovery’ THE next government must focus on funding management skills to help UK companies secure the economic recovery. So says Huddersfield businessman David Broadhead, who runs training firm Partners in Management, and heads a “think-tank” of local business leaders. He was commenting on the findings of a hard-hitting report by the Chartered Management Institute, which pinpoints five factors the next government must consider to help firms in the medium term. The report calls for the government to provide tax breaks for employer investment in skills development and says measures should be introduced to improve bank lending to firms. It also seeks tighter regulation of the financial sector and calls for employers

and learners to be given greater control over funding for skills development. The report also says measures to cut red tape should be speeded up. Mr Broadhead, a Fellow of the CMI and a national ambassador for the organisation, said the report demonstrated that managerial skills development was the most effective way to deliver innovation and also the one area any government could quickly offer positive financial assistance. Mr Broadhead, whose firm is based at the Media Centre, said the latest CMI report also closely mirrored the findings of the 15-strong business forum based in Huddersfield, which meets quarterly to debate key issues affecting business. The forum – which has achieved a high success rate in accurately predicting eco-

nomic trends – includes representatives of sectors including automotive components, textiles, water and gas, banking, insurance, business services and the voluntary sector. Mr Broadhead said forecasts made by the forum at its September meeting had been borne out by subsequent events. At that meeting, the forum warned that it was too early to celebrate the end of the recession and that the economy was “on a knife edge”. It said the recovery and business confidence would continue to be blunted by “inevitable” tax rises and increased inflation. It also warned of “half a million job losses in the public sector” during the coming months.

■ SKILLS FACTOR: David Broadhead, of Partnerships in Management

Bosses tempted to quit the UK

Firms face credit worries

ALMOST one in four self-employed people are considering moving abroad to work in the next five years, according to a new study. A poll of 2,000 bosses of small to medium-sized firms by currency broker Foreign Currency Direct showed that the main reason for wanting to quit the UK was achieving a better work/life balance. Two out of five of those considering moving abroad said it was because of the prospect of further tax rises, while a third believed that overseas countries offered greater chances of building a more profitable business.

ACCESS to credit remains a “headache” for smaller firms, it is claimed. Employers’ body the CBI said production in small and medium-sized enterprises had stabilised and the relative weakness of sterling had led to a better than expected rise in exports. A survey of more than 400 manufacturers showed over a third had seen an increase in orders in the three months to April. But it said increasing raw material prices were squeezing profits and access to credit continued to be a “challenge”. Russel Griggs, chairman of the

Australia and New Zealand were the top destinations. The prospect of working overseas appealed most to smaller firms in banking and finance, hospitality and leisure, and professional services. Stephen Hughes, of Foreign Currency Direct, said: “Given the state of the UK economy, it’s hardly surprising that so many self-employed people are considering moving their business interests abroad. We’ve seen a significant jump in self-employed people transferring money abroad to set up their businesses as well as paying for items such as rental deposits and cars.”

CBI’s SME council, said: “With demand expected to grow in the coming months, manufacturers are thinking about taking on extra staff over the next three months. “However, firms are experiencing a sharp rise in raw material costs which is squeezing profit margins. “But they do expect to recoup some of this by raising prices over the next quarter. It is also still a concern that access to credit remains a headache for some firms.” The survey showed that most firms expected to marginally increase staff numbers in the next few months.

Page 2 ‘Axe tax on jobs’ THE next government must axe the planned National Insurance hike and outline plans to cut the UK’s deficit or risk a recession relapse, a business group has warned. In a 90-day challenge laid down to the incoming government, the British Chambers of Commerce set out a 12-step plan to promote business growth and economic recovery after the General Election. It said Labour’s planned rise in employer National Insurance contributions in 2011 was a “tax on jobs” and must be cancelled in full, alongside other proposals including freezing public sector pay, developing a radical plan to speed-up next generation broadband and calling a halt to any new employment law before 2014. David Frost, director general of the BCC, said: “During the first 90 days after an election, an incoming government must make concrete proposals to reduce red tape and tax burdens on business; review how to move the economy away from an over-reliance on consumption and the public sector; and commit to improving Britain’s energy, transport and digital infrastructure.” He added: “We will be judging the performance of the next government against its delivery of a clear plan for business.”

Strategic thinkers are on a winning streak!

Public sector pay problems

A MARKETING agency is on a winning streak. The Individual Agency, based at Heritage Exchange, Lindley, won the award for Best In Strategic Thinking for companies with fewer than 30 employees in the inaugural Recommended Agency Register Awards at London’s Russell Hotel. The awards recognise service excellence among marketing companies across the UK. Unlike many awards, they are based on what clients say. As well as winning one award, The Individual Agency was among the finalists in categories for Creativity and Innovation, Professionalism, Client Service and Effectiveness. It is the latest accolade for the agency, which was formed in 2008. During April, the agency was listed among the top 100 award-winning agencies by industry magazine The Drum – after it won one trophy and

THE new government will find it difficult to impose a pay freeze in the public sector because of rising inflation and a thaw in wage restraint in private firms, claims a report. A study by the Labour Research Department said pay freezes in the private sector had started falling, while average settlements were rising – suggesting an end of “concessionary bargaining” by unions. Fewer than one in five recent deals in private firms involved a pay freeze, with a quarter worth at least 3%. In contrast, 1.6m local government workers were facing a pay freeze and the main political parties were planning further wage restrictions, said the report. It added: “While we may not have seen the back of pay freezes just yet, there is likely to be greater pressure on all employers to settle for a positive increase as pay medians begin to rise. “Public sector unions are already unhappy about plans to hold down wages. With the rise in inflation and pressure from comparisons with the private sector, it may be hard to keep the lid on public sector pay.”

was nominated for another in last year’s Cream Yorkshire Awards. Client services director Tracey Owens said: “We’re delighted with this recent award. “There are many awards in our industry, but the RAR award is great as it is voted for independently by our clients and is based on their experience of working with us. “We’ve had an incredible first couple of years in business and have some fantastic clients on board. “The next chapter for us as we enter into our third is certainly our most exciting.” The Individual Agency offers all aspects of brand development and design including brand identities, packaging, brochures, point-of-sale material, advertising and websites as well as brand services across market research and strategic planning.

■ WINNERS: Tracey Owens, client services director, and James Everitt, creative at The Individual Agency, with the RAR award



Charity seeks a healthy future A BUSINESS counselling children and background is helping young people. Patricia Patricia Sadio make an also studied in some impact in the charity detail the subject of sector. obesity – partly because The director of of a family history of Combating Obesity, a obesity on her father’s not-for-profit company side. based at Titanic Mills in In 2002, Patricia set up Linthwaite, went to Leeds Cobwebs – which stands University and qualified in for Combating Obesity accountancy before With Education and spending 22 years in the Balance. world of finance. The programme She worked for a provides support for merchant bank in London children with obesity for six years and in issues – but crucially does Ireland for six years not just treat it as a matter before a career change of diet and exercise. took her to the charity The following year, sector. Patricia was named a Now the experience is Community Champion for proving invaluable in her Yorkshire and Humber in work with Combating recognition of her adults Obesity – as government programme, Cody – spending cuts make it Combating Obesity with harder for charities to Dignity. attract funding and vital And in 2007, Patricia for them to generate was awarded the Winston revenues by becoming Churchill Fellowship, commercially-viable. enabling her to visit the “The funding situation USA for seven weeks to for the charity sector is research obesity quite worrying,” says Patricia. “A lot of charities have been and gone in the past few years. That is why we are trying to generate some income ourselves to do the work we do.” Patricia has been involved in voluntary work since she was a teenager, helping the charity Mencap after school. She has also worked as a director and psychotherapist with Rape Crisis and as a psychotherapist working with young offenders and women at New Hall Prison, Flockton.. She undertook a post-graduate ■ SUPPORT: Patricia Sadio, qualification in of Combating Obesity

programmes over there. As well as being a lifetime member of the Winston Churchill Trust, she is treasurer of its Pennine area fellowship. She was also admitted as a member of the Royal Society for Arts – an organisation for original thinkers. In 2008, Cobwebs’ training courses for professionals working with obesity were accredited by the Royal College of Nurses. Last year, Cobwebs became the first and only voluntary programme to get Department of Health approval. Says Patricia: “Ever since Combating Obesity was launched, we have been raising awareness through schools about the psychological issues attached to obesity – issues such as bullying, lack of motivation and lack of self-worth. “Children referred to us for help are those who have opted out of school and stay at home.” Government programmes to tackle obesity have been largely “tick-box” focused on diet and exercise rather than the people and their quality of life, says Patricia. “Funding goes to sport and nutrition, but the psychological aspect is much more difficult. “We specialise in helping teenagers,” says Patricia “We have one-to-one and group sessions and we work with them as long as they need us. “We aim to engage, empower and encourage. “Obesity makes children withdrawn. They won’t

Page 3 Patricia Sadio Role: Executive director Age: 48 Holidays: St Kitts and Ireland Car: Seat Ibiza First job: Morrisons checkout operator when I was 15 Best thing about job: Challenging stereotypes and having really interesting work and the independence to make decisions Worst thing about job: Constantly chasing funding for the charity Business tip: Tell me and I will forget; show me and I will remember; involve me and I will understand

Combating Obesity take part in PE classes at school because of what they have to contend with. “Our aim is to motivate people to take the route to weight management. “It is not that young people don’t want assistance – they just don’t want the assistance on offer because the emphasis isn’t right. It is very much about dictating to obese people rather than working with them.” Combating Obesity also challenges attitudes and prejudice, says Patricia. “We also provide training for people who work with obese children and young adults – such as youth workers, health workers and PE teachers – to help them understand the issues. “Training takes the form of half-day, one-day, two-day or eight-day programmes run in the spring and autumn. We will go on-site for groups of six or more.” Patricia hopes that National Obesity Day on May 22 will “give a voice to obese young people”. She will also spread her message when she addresses the Nursing in Practice Conference on May 11 at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall. “It is about supporting the frontline workers who help obese people,” she says. “It is about nurturing and supporting the nurses

and the medical profession generally so they are better able to engage and interact with obese young people.” Patricia found her experience of obesity issues in America as “very miserable”. While some obese people were determined to strive to maintain a healthy lifestyle – using gyms and swimming pools, forming self-help groups and attending yoga and aerobics classes – many more lived in a “sub-culture” where they created environments where they felt safe. She says: “We cannot do it the American way. If anything, the US experience reinforces the fact that what we are doing is necessary and that we are taking the right approach.” Patricia has a refreshing philosophy about business. “My brother was a 400-metres hurdler and was always very fit, but he died of cancer at the age of 49,” she says. “That made me think about my priorities. People chase their careers, but life is about people at the end of the day. “I have always had a strong social conscience and sense of justice. That feeds into what we do through our programmes.”


Work: Designing, developing and delivering programmes and activities to support obese people and professionals to combat obesity with dignity Site: Linthwaite Phone: 01484 846422 Email: Website: combating

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Firm points way to a virtual world A DESIGN and branding agency in Huddersfield has helped give a new look to a local firm – by “building” a hospital ward on its website. The Engine Room, based at the Media Centre’s Creative Lofts in Northumberland Street, has completed a re-branding project for Denby Dale-based Visual Systems Ltd – a leading supplier of signs and information systems to the healthcare sector and industry. Visual Systems designs and manufactures a full range of visual display products, including outdoor and indoor signs, ward information boards, patient name signs and bed patient chart holders. The Engine Room worked with the Visual Systems team and their customers after winning a three-way pitch to complete a re-think of the company brand. Mark Edwards, senior creative at The Engine Room, said: “Our aim was to create a site that clearly differ-

entiated Visual Systems as specialists in their field. There were understandably many constraints to photographing the company’s products in NHS and private hospital wards, so we chose to create our own. “This was achieved by using the latest 3D modelling techniques to create a “virtual” hospital ward that can be viewed online by customers. “The interactive ward is now the perfect place to showcase the latest products in the environment for which they are intended. Our solution gives both flexibility and longevity as new product lines can be simply added to the virtual ward with minimal cost.” Chris Hunter, managing director at Visual Systems, said: “The re-branding process has been a very worthwhile journey. The Engine Room came in and did a very thorough job. They spoke to our team, customers and even our competitors. They have done a fantastic job.”

■ IN THE PICTURE: Mark Edwards (left) senior creative for The Engine Room, with Chris Hunter, managing director of Visual Systems Ltd

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A VAN dealership in Huddersfield has been commended for its efforts to support customers of collapsed van and minibus maker LDV. LDV dealer F&G Commercials Ltd, based at Leeds Road, Bradley, has been presented with a special Extra Mile award by parts distribution company Multipart for the support provided to LDV customers over the past 12 months. The award was presented by Multipart director Brendan Leach to F&G parts manager Edgar Kokans at the company’s premises on Bradley Junction Industrial Estate. Said Mr Leach: “This award is aptly named because it recognises the extraordinary effort made by F&G Commercials to keep customers happy and keep their LDV vehicles earning. “LDV’s demise left many owners in a dilemma. Do they simply let those valuable vehicles go out of revenue-earning service prematurely with the significant cost that this would entail? Or do they keep them functioning effectively and efficiently. “We recognised this problem and encouraged all 80 LDV dealers around the UK to go that extra mile to keep those vehicles on the road. “That has been a true test of

■ VAN GANG: The winning parts team from F&G Commercials (left to right) Edgar Kokans, Dave Greenwood, Rod Watson, Martyn Sketcher, Mick Booth, Brian Nobel, Patrick Nelson, Alan Kitching, Graham Whittingham

customer commitment and has involved a sustained and substantial investment in parts stocks and a lot of hard work. Working with the LDV dealers, we’ve even been able to significantly reduce the costs of parts for the older Convoy and Pilot models. “That joint commitment has been recognised by many LDV vehicle owners who now know that they can continue to enjoy good parts and service support from their local dealer. And it’s

been recognised too by the Extra Mile award, which has been made to reward this exceptional performance.” Mr Kokans said: “We are delighted to have earned this Extra Mile award from Multipart. Everybody in our parts team is totally committed to supporting our many customers in the area and to ensuring that they can continue to operate their LDV vans and minibuses for years to come.”

KIRKLEES BUSIN Northern options for exporters KIRKLEES firm can get an insight into exporting to Scandinavian countries at an event this summer. Chamber International has teamed up with Sorensen Consulting to run two one-day sessions in June – offering businesses the chance of one-to-one meetings with Sorensen’s specialist partners to devise strategies to sell into the key markets. Sorensen, set up 16 years ago by former Danish diplomat Benny Sorensen (pictured) has helped a long string of companies establish a presence in the high wealth countries of northern Europe. Said Mr Sorensen: “UK Trade & Investment has called us ‘the fast-track to Scandinavian business’. “We’ve worked with chambers in Denmark, Germany and Holland and we’re their preferred commercial partner. “This isn’t about paperwork or theory. “It’s a practical way of getting the fastest route into those markets and creating turnover for Yorkshire companies.” With the weak pound especially, Chamber International and Sorensen believe there are enormous potential advantages for Yorkshire businesses breaking into Scandinavia. As well as being high-priced markets offering enhanced profits, four out of five people there speak English. “Scandinavia is a very open market,” said Mr Sorensen. “Many businesses there are looking for European alternatives to Chinese manufacturers. “It’s a question of Yorkshire businesses having a good niche product.” Tim Bailey, the international trade director of Chamber International, said the new service could prove very useful to those businesses determined to export their way out of the recession. “The businesses most likely to benefit from working with Sorensen Consulting will probably be those that have some exporting experience or may already be selling to Scandinavia and want to increase sales,” he said. The events take place on Tuesday, June 29, at the Bradford Chamber and on Wednesday, June 30 at Leeds Chamber. Call 0845 0347200 or email sales@



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Green issues get television airtime A FIRM supplying the maintenance, repair and overhaul market, is taking a “green” business message onto television. Brammer, which has a branch at Ringway Industrial Estate in Huddersfield and others in Leeds, Bradford, Hull, Sheffield and York, is to feature in a special TV programme highlighting the importance of environmental considerations to the future of British business. T h e h a l f - h o u r p rog ra m m e, entitled ‘Building a Green Britain’, will be shown on The Business Channel – available on both Sky Digital and BBC/ITV Freesat networks – during May. The programme will focus on the new Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency scheme and how industry can reduce its carbon emissions via a range of measures, such as adopting more energy-efficient technologies. Brammer will be appearing alongside Government ministers and officials as well as representatives from the UK utilities industry.

Jeremy Salisbury, of Brammer, said: “Reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions are increasingly important areas for business to address, with many companies now having a regulatory commitment to meet for the first time with the introduction of the CRC. “Whether covered by the some form of climate change regulation or not, the fact is that there are significant operational cost-savings availab l e t o c o m p a n i e s t h ro u g h becoming more energy efficient.” Said Mr Salisbury: “Much of our work with customers across all UK manufacturing sectors is aimed at helping them to improve their performance by reducing their energy costs and carbon emissions through the selection and optimal maintenance of energy-efficient equipment such as high-efficiency motors and variable speed drives. “We also work with them to ensure they get the best out of resources such as compressed air, which can often be misused and poorly maintained.

■ SCHEDULE: Jeremy Salisbury, of maintenance and servicing equipment supplier Brammer

“This programme will be a great opportunity to showcase the benefits to UK industry of working with a partner like Brammer.” The company’s UK division is part of a £130m-turnover business with more than 800 employees and 89 sales and service centres nation-

Electoral possibilities W

ITH Nick Clegg – and by extension the Liberal Democrats – emerging as the stars of the television debates, if voters act according to the post-debate opinion polls the outcome to the UK general election on Thursday will be a hung parliament. As a rule, investors do not like uncertainty and at first glance a hung parliament would appear to offer little else. Even if a coalition was formed quickly, the prospect of an extended period of a weak government implementing fudged legislation would become an unsettlingly realistic possibility. However, we do not believe that a hung parliament at this time need necessarily be bad for UK investors. This is for a number of reasons, but firstly and most importantly it is because, at the present time, all of the three main political parties appear to recognise the seriousness of the UK’s budgetary predicament. Bearing in mind that our own budget deficit is currently running at levels similar to Greece’s, with the consequences of Greece’s prior fiscal imprudence all too evident day-by-day in the media, there is little appetite or potential for the sort of “pork-barrel” political deals that would undermine fiscal discipline here. This is crucial, and indeed in these circumstances, where

CITY TALK Simon Kaye

all political parties are agreed on the need to take tough measures, there is even a slim possibility that a consensus emerges for “shared” legislation that is actually more “prudent” than would otherwise have been put-forward by any single proponent. So what are we to make of politicians suggesting that overseas investors could become sufficiently unsettled by a hung parliament to threaten the UK’s funding position – essentially raising the spectre of a re-run of the Greek tragedy? This should be ignored as a political device – at least in the short term. It is important to realise that the UK is in a very different position to Greece, or indeed to Portugal, Spain, Ireland or Italy – the other great debtors. Aside from any debate about our relative levels of aggregate debt, the health of our financial institutions or the tax-base of the economy (which would all show the UK in a good

light) the UK has the additional advantage of a flexible exchange rate and a much less onerous debt maturity profile. Both give the UK some time to deal with our problems even if they must ultimately be robustly addressed. This is not to say that it will be entirely “business as usual” if parliament is hung. A period of negotiation is likely to be required to fashion credible financial plans that both address the deficit and support growth. With the focus so strongly on the state of UK public finances, until such plans materialise, there is likely to be downward pressure on Sterling, possibly accompanied by an upward drift in government bond yields. Importantly however, in this scenario, investors in blue chip UK equities should be relatively well protected – since FTSE 100 companies now derive over two-thirds of their profits from overseas.

Simon Kaye is divisional director at Rensburg Sheppards Investment Management

wide offering more than a million individual products. Brammer’s range covers bearings, mechanical power transmission products, pneumatics, hydraulics, seals and industrial automation as well as tools and maintenance and health and safety products.

Award for excellence A NEW award has been launched to recognise northern businesses using innovative ideas to help them emerge from the economic downturn. The Best Practice Award for Innovation, launched by North of England Excellence, is open to organisations which have introduced an innovative service, product or idea in the period since January 1, 2009. The award is open to organisations of any size and type from all sectors. Entrants should be able to show that their innovation has resulted in a significant benefit to their customers, their workforce or to society in general. The award is sponsored by the Manufacturing Institute. The closing date for applications is Friday, 28 May. The award will be presented at the annual North of England Business Excellence Awards ceremony in Leeds on Thursday, October 14. Winners will be invited to share their experience at future seminars organised to help promote best practice in innovation. North of England Excellence is a non-profit body promoting business improvement.

Printing investment A BRIGHOUSE firm has invested in new equipment to boost production of point-of-sale displays for high street shops and banks. Screenprint Productions has taken delivery of two air compressors and related equipment from compressed air specialist Thorite, which has a branch at Barge Street in Huddersfield. The new kit has been installed at Screenprint’s new 55,000sq ft Brighouse premises. The compressors power

Screenprint Productions’ range of screenprinting, digital and cutting machines, which are used to produce displays for many leading retailers and financial services companies. Screenprint director Martyn Hicks said: “We are fortunate to be located close to Thorite’s Bradford head office – as we prefer to deal with local suppliers. “They have responded quickly and efficiently to all our requests. The quality of the installation work is excellent.”

KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS BAM enjoys bigger sales A CONSTRUCTION company with projects in Huddersfield has reported near-record turnover of £182m for 2009. BAM Construction – the main contractor on Huddersfield University’s £16m business school project – had schemes under way on a record 41 operational sites last year, providing work for almost 1,500 people. The company’s procurement policy is to use local labour and materials wherever possible, subject to quality and performance standards. Despite the high volume of work, the company recorded its best health and safety performance and won a Gold Award from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents. It trained more than 350 supervisors in safety issues during the year. Elsewhere in Yorkshire, BAM has completed the new Carnegie Pavilion at Headingley, Leeds, for clients Yorkshire County Cricket club and Leeds Metropolitan University. It has also undertaken projects for Sheffield University, York University and Harrogate Royal Hall.

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Firm framing up for next 20 years A COMPANY making and installing aluminium doors and windows has celebrated 20 years in business. G o l c a r- b a s e d H e pwo r t h Framework marked the occasion by treating staff to cake and champagne at the firm’s Leymoor Road premises. The company was formed in 1990 by Bernard Hepworth as a manufacturer and installer of aluminium doors and windows for commercial and domestic use. Current owner and managing director Richard Steckles joined the company in 1994 – bringing his extensive joinery and engineering experience to the business. “A birthday party is a good way to acknowledge the continuing success of the company and share this with our staff,” he said.

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“The construction industry has gone through difficult times recently. However, business is improving, which is another reason for celebration.” Hepworth Framework has supplied specialist glazing products for many of the Yorkshire region’s commercial developments. Mr Steckles, who is majority shareholder of the firm, said he was confident about its future – having just completed a major investment in a second factory. “This industry is about moving forward and Hepworth Framework has always looked to the future,” he said. “It might be considered a brave decision, but we have been in business 20 years now and it is important that we plan and invest for the next 20 years as these are going to be exciting times for us and the construction industry.”

■ LANDMARK: Hepworth Frameworks managing director Richard Steckles (left) and general manager Steve Corcoran (front) celebrate the firm’s 20th anniversary with members of the fabrication, design and estimating team

Confidence makes welcome return to Yorkshire market THE commercial property m a rke t i n Yo rk s h i re i s improving, a new survey suggests Figures from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors said rental expectations remained “in negative territory” during the first quarter of 2010 – but had improved dramatically compared with a year ago. The net balance of chartered surveyors reporting rental expectations stood at minus 16 for the first quarter of 2010. That compares with ■ CONFIDENCE: Richard Corby, of the RICS minus 22 for the final quarter of last year and a massive the year showed that enquiries minus 78 for the first three were improving across the months of 2009. board. The balance is calculated by The amount of available subtracting the percentage of commercial property space chartered surveyors reporting had declined, but surveyors a falling figure from those still reported a wide portfolio reporting a rising figure. The of office, industry and retail last time rental expectations property available in the were positive in the region was region. during the third quarter of Confidence in the outlook 2007. for lettings improved – with While market conditions differed widely across the 24% of surveyors reporting a north of England, the figures rise in enquiries by the end of for the first three months of the quarter against a balance

of zero in January. Eight per cent of surveyors reported a rise in demand for offices against 4% in the previous quarter. H oweve r, d e m a n d fo r industrial and retail space declined slightly – with some surveyors voicing concerns about the impact that the general election will have on regional lettings activity and a likely cut in public sector employment. Richard Corby, RICS spokesman for commercial property in Yorkshire, said: “We are seeing a return of confidence in certain sectors – although this is fragile and the forthcoming general election has proved an opportunity for some decision-makers to defer committing to new space. “This is especially apparent with office space. Despite enquires increasing and demand improving, the office market in our region is the slowest sector to show any real signs of recovery and the one that is suffering from the greatest risk of over-supply.”

KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS Green guide for business CONSTRUCTION contractors in Kirklees can find out more about providing clients with sustainable building options – thanks to a new guide from resource efficiency experts Envirowise. The guide – Constructing the case for building sustainability: helping you to help your customer – is available to download free of charge at It aims to help contractors anticipate client demands and specifications by breaking down the key areas where sustainable practices can be implemented. The guide provides advice on choosing the right materials for the job, improving water efficiency on site, incorporating energy efficient features into a building, minimising waste and using transport more efficiently. The financial benefits of sustainable construction can also add up for contractor and client. For example, leaving a 25mm hose running can waste water worth about £1 an hour while reducing energy use in a building by 20% could benefit the client’s profits by the same amount as a 5% increase in sales. Elin Crebbin, Envirowise regional manager for Yorkshire, said: “Sustainable practices are already high on the business agenda and clients increasingly expect a level of expertise from their contractors which includes the ability to offer guidance on materials and practices. “This guide offers food for thought for the area’s 1,800-plus construction businesses – whether their primary business is refurbishment to existing building stock or new builds. “Being in a position to offer advice to clients on this topic will help construction businesses to stand out from the crowd and begin to establish a track record for sustainable construction.”


Page 7

Consultancy wins supermarket prize

A PROPERTY compliance specialist based in Huddersfield has got the seal of approval from supermarket giant Sainsbury’s. BES Consulting, based at Moldgreen, has been named Best Facilities Management Newcomer by the retail giant in its awards scheme recognising suppliers who deliver outstanding service. BES Consulting was appointed by Sainsbury’s in June last year to undertake a full audit and risk assessment across all of its retail properties. This is part of a three-year programme in which BES will also review all compliance-related Sainsbury’s facilities management suppliers. To date, the exercise has delivered cost savings of 30% without compromising on quality. Paul Bailey, sales and marketing director at BES, said: “We’re delighted to have been recognised for the work that we’ve done with Sainsbury’s and really

admire its commitment to its customers. “The supermarket prides itself on the high quality of its products and service which extends to all of its properties.” Paul Crewe, head of facilities management and engineering at Sainsbury’s, said: “We were delighted to award BES our Best FM Newcomer Award, which was thoroughly deserved. “BES has created the right road map for our retail property compliance that fits very closely within our company goal of providing our customers and colleagues with the best possible environments.” BES, which also has offices in London, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Birmingham and Belfast, provides services including fire risk, asbestos risk and energy assessments for clients in sectors such as retailing, finance, social housing, pubs and leisure.

■ MORE IN STORE: Paul Bailey (left), sales and marketing director at BES Consulting, with Neil Sachdev (centre), commercial services director at Sainsbury's, and Russell Roberts, of BES

Rixonway stages giveaway to mark 500th installation DEWSBURY firm Rixonway Kitchens has joined forces with a social housing repairs and maintenance company to celebrate the installation of its 500th kitchen on a housing estate – and make a £500 donation to charity. Rixonway and Mears each contributed £250 to make up the sum, which goes to Great Ormond Street Hospital for sick children. The charity was chosen by the recipients of the 500th kitchen, who live on a Watford housing estate. Rixonway is supplying kitchens to

the estate as part of a £66m homes refurbishment programme being undertaken by Watford Community Housing Trust. Rixonway was formed in 1978 and has more than 30 years’ experience in supplying kitchens for affordable housing schemes and the public sector. It is also the only UK kitchen manufacturer dedicated to community regeneration. Chief executive Paul Rose (right) said: “Rixonway is committed to giving something back to the communit-

ies we work in. “Rixonway is always keen to help improve the communities in which we work. “We have also established the Rixonway fundraising team, who are set to swim for Marie Curie in April and cycle around Ireland in September.” Rixonway manufactures 12,000 units a week and employs more than 400 people at its headquarters and manufacturing site in Dewsbury. It also has 40 “roving” designers who operate nationwide.

Former care home is auction highlight A VACANT former care home in Liversedge is among the star lots at a forthcoming property auction. The site at Strawberry Bank, off Halifax Road, was previously marketed at £350,000. But it is now being auctioned by Eddisons at a guide price of £190,000-plus on the instructions of an administrator. The property occupies about a third of an acre and may be suitable for redevelopment subject to planning consents. Among other lots, a tenanted office premises in Dewsbury town centre let to Local Properties Estate Agents is offered at a guide price of £120,000-plus.

The premises on Daisy Hill generate an annual passing rent of £15,000. A vacant parcel of land in Dewsbury at West Park Street is also available at a guide price of £50,000-plus. A total of 100 lots are set for auction at the Eddisons two-day sale on May 11 and 13. They include instructions from receivers, administrators, mortgagees in possession and private clients. At its last auction, Eddisons reported that 90 of the 122 lots offered were sold. The latest auction takes place on May 11 at Leeds United Football Club, Elland Road, Leeds; and on May 13 at The Fairways Lodge and Leisure Club, Prestwich, Manchester.



Queens Mill Industrial Estate Queens Mill Road, Huddersfield Units 5, 7 and 19 From 1,775sq ft to 4,966sq ft Modern Industrial Units to Let Ideally located for town centre Terms available on application Contact:

Paul Andrew Walker Singleton 01484 477600

Christine Eccleston MB Services 01484 557102


Paul Philmore & Diane Kinder

Revell Ward Recovery CHARTERED accountancy firm Revell Ward has announced the launch of a new division to advise businesses facing financial difficulty. Revell Ward Recovery, based at Market Street in Huddersfield, will be headed by new partner Paul Philmore and new director Diane Kinder (pictured above). For Ms Kinder, it is a case of “coming home” as she previously enjoyed a successful career with Revell Ward in Huddersfield for many years. Ms Kinder and Mr Philmore have a combined 40 years’ experience advising struggling businesses on the best way forward and on their legal responsibilities. She said: “There are several options open to businesses in distressed financial circumstances and choosing the right one is vital if the business is to survive and jobs are to be saved. John Wilson, partner at Revell Ward, said: “We are delighted to welcome Paul and Diane to our team and add their experience and expertise to the advice we can offer.”

Chloe Proctor

UP & Working RECRUITMENT agency UP & Working Ltd has appointed Chloe Proctor to help manage its growing roster of clients focusing on both temporary and permanent placements. Ms Proctor (pictured) began her career at BOS Recruitment, specialising in the industrial sector, before moving to AM recruitment, where she focused on temporary commercial vacancies. She later joined Supply Desk, where her remit was education recruitment appointing nursery nurses, teaching assistants and trained teachers. UP & Working Ltd, part of the Sadeh Lok Housing Group, operate across sectors including engineering, industrial, housing, education, sales and marketing and commercial work.

Andy Woodward

Severn Unival ANDY Woodward has been appointed Performance+ global sales manager at valve engineering services specialist Severn Unival in Huddersfield. Mr Woodward (pictured), will be responsible for driving sales for the Performance+ business unit, which comprises a team of expert engineers and technicians focusing on the repair and upgrade of severe and critical service valves. Mr Woodward will focus mainly on the oil and gas industry and has in-depth experience of offshore and onshore applications. Mr Woodward will work worldwide with parent Severn Glocon Group’s area and country sales force as well as overseas agents and representatives.

Movers and shakers

Page 8

PROHMS get a healthy result A COMPANY focusing on health and well-being in the workplace is in the peak of fitness. PROHMS Physio and Ergonomic Services, an offshoot of Professional Occupational Health and Medical Services, is the latest winner of the Business of the Month Award run by Eaton Smith Solicitors in association with the Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce. PROHMS owner Sandra Babbings and representatives of the company received the award from Eaton Smith partner Jane Mahaffey at the law firm’s Market Street offices in Huddersfield. PROHMS, which has premises at Marsh and Penistone, works with medium to large companies and their employees on issues such as sickness and absence – ensuring employees can return to work within a role that is safe for them. The company works with clients to provide suitable treatments, therapies and a return to work plan for employees with heart conditions, musculo-skeletal problems and mental health issues. Seven years since its launch, the company has gone from strength to strength – recently adding a relaxation and well-being day spa to its portfolio of services. PROHMS has created 19 full-time and part-time positions in the region. All staff are highly skilled and trained to deal with such delicate issues. PROHMS professionals also work with A-level students studying towards long-term careers in health care by provid-

HAULAGE firm Bedfords Transport has received a five-star rating. The Batley-based company has joined the ECO Stars – standing for Efficient and Cleaner Operations Fleet Recognition Scheme in partnership with its client, Polestar. Bedfords decided to join the ECO Stars scheme which provides recognition, guidance and advice to operators of goods vehicles, buses and coaches across South Yorkshire. The scheme is the first of its kind in the UK and Bedfords has registered 68 trucks – receiving an immediate five star rating! Bedfords is acknowledged by ECO Stars as a company that leads the way in lowering emissions in the environment. The scheme has also recognised Bedfords’ on-site, full time, ATS tyre fitter to monitor tyre policy and the fact that all trucks are fitted with air spoiler kits to lower the impact on the environment. Peter Smith, financial director at Bedfords, accepted the award on behalf of the company from Sheffield City Council’s Clr Paul Scriven and sustainable development officer Mark Daly. Said Mr Smith: “We’re delighted with our five star rating from ECO Stars. As a company, we always try to be mindful of the environment and constantly push ahead to ensure we take any step possible to safeguard it for future generations.”

■ GOOD HEALTH: Jane Mahaffey (centre), of Eaton Smith, presents the award to Sandra Babbings (third right) and colleagues Particia Campbell (second right) and Rachael Lawrence (right), of PROHMS, with (from left), Andrew Choi, director of the Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce; Dave Beasley, of Business Link; and Glyn Jepson, of The Business Partnership

ing work experience. It also works with the long-term unemployed and mentors candidates through work placement and on the job training. Said Sandra: “Our staff are the reason for our success. They are altruistic, committed and passionate about their work and this is critical to our continued growth. “I speak on behalf of all the team when I

Five-star delivery

■ DELIVERING: Peter Smith (centre), financial director at Bedfords, accepts the Eco Star award from Sheffield City Council’s Clr Paul Scriven (left) and sustainable development officer Mark Daly

say we are absolutely delighted to have received this celebrated award and the recognition is truly enriching.” The Business of the Month Award is open to all companies in Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield. Go to or contact Ian Greenwood on 01484 821389.

Quick links and legal aid COMPANIES will get an update on employment law changes at an event in Huddersfield. The Lockwood-based Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce has teamed up with law firm Eaton Smith and insurance broker Eastwood & Partners to run a seminar on employment legislation on Thursday, May 27. The event includes information on a human resources support package put together by Eaton Smith and Eastwood & Partners, which includes an insurance policy to cover the cost of employment tribunal claims. The seminar is the first in a series of events during the summer involving the chamber and Eaton Smith. Others will including seminars focusing on setting up and expanding a business, trading on the internet and debt collection. The chamber is also aiming to help companies make friends quickly – with a speed networking session during its Connections Count business buffet, which takes place from noon to 2.30pm on Thursday, May 20, at the Holiday Inn, Brighouse. Spokeswoman Tracy Smith said: “Connecting our members is one of our key priorities.”